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How to Write a Business Plan for Your Interior Design Business

Interior designer jarret yoshida on how he runs his successful brooklyn studio.

interior design studio business plan

Starting your own interior design business is a special time filled with firsts. It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement and forget to iron out the finer details. Writing a business plan is the best first step you can take when it comes to starting your interior design business because in doing so, you’ll force yourself to get specific about your dreams, look at the practicals, and carve out a clear course of action. Your business plan is your roadmap for setting up your business processes, spreading the word about your services, and finding new clients. Let’s get started!

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Step 1: Determine Your Niche

You have the opportunity to create the interior design business of your dreams. While the project possibilities are endless, it’s important to define your niche. Defining your niche will set you apart from your competition by making you a specialist in a specific design style, a certain type of space, a particular type of client, or even for designing within a certain budgetary range.

According to Carla Aston, there are many ways to find your niche. "I think it’s important after each project or even consultation, if you do those, to reflect back and make notes of what sparked joy within you." Maybe you love the farmhouse look, traditional homes, or a more sleek and modern style. You might also want to ask yourself who you enjoy working with. Maybe you’ve found that certain types of clients, like young families or single millennials, are consistently a delight for you to collaborate with, or perhaps there’s a certain type of space like kitchens or luxury hotels that you genuinely enjoy designing.

Once you’ve found your niche, it’s important to develop a detailed understanding of who your ideal clients are, the pain points they’re likely facing, and what their desires are, so you can develop a design process that delights them at every touchpoint. This will also help you create a marketing strategy that speaks straight to the hearts of those seeking out your services and positions you as the obvious choice.

"Over time, I've developed budget parameters, personality traits of desired clients, style of design, size of projects, locations where I want to work, etc., that spark joy for me and I've designed my business model to accommodate only those jobs. Remember that saying no to a job that doesn't fit into your model is almost more important than saying yes to one that does,” says Aston.

Step 2: Define Your Services

The next step is to define your services. What services bring you the most joy? Some interior designers love managing projects and coordinating with tradespeople, while others would rather delegate these tasks. Decide on which services you’d like to offer and personally tend to and which you’d rather have someone else handle.

There are so many different types of interior design services you can offer . Design consultations, space planning, furniture selection, art curation, custom window treatments, plumbing, flooring, lighting, installation, and re-designs are just a few. Some services, such as construction and window design, even overlap with architecture. It’s also important to specify which types of spaces your services are for so you can attract projects you enjoy. Commercial, institutional, residential, and office spaces are just some of the spaces to consider.

Next, conduct market research by taking a look at the language your competitors are using and interviewing prospective clients about their desires and pain points. Having this information in your back pocket will help you further define your services and communicate them in a way that speaks straight to your ideal clients.

Step 3: Decide on Your Rate.

There are many questions to consider when it comes to determining your rate. For starters, how much money do you need to make at a minimum to cover your current expenses and meet your income goals? How much money will you need in addition to meet your savings goals and also to live comfortably? Next, ask yourself, in a given amount of time, how many projects can you reasonably accomplish? Will you bill hourly or charge a flat rate per project? Once you’ve decided on each of these factors, establish your rates. It all boils down to the number of projects you can do in a certain amount of time and how much money you’ll need to live comfortably.

And don’t underestimate your expertise. Sharing knowledge is a service in itself, implementing it for people will naturally cost even more. If you charge too low, you’ll give people the impression that your services aren’t as high quality as other designers who might charge more for the same services. No matter what, it’s important that you make a profit.

You can also find creative ways to save money. Develop good relationships with vendors and tradespeople and look for vendors who offer discounts for interior designers. You can also consider upcharging for materials by a certain percentage.

Most importantly, when sharing your rate with your clients, it’s important to communicate your process to them and explain the amount of time that’s involved. Your clients will never understand how much work goes into a single project unless you clearly define the scope and lay out all of the details for them.

Step 4: Develop a Marketing Strategy.

Now, it’s time to get started on your marketing strategy. Where do you want to be in 5 years? Dream big. For example, do you need a certain number of projects by a certain time? Do you want your work to be published in a certain magazine or a certain number of magazines to help build brand awareness and showcase your work? Marketing yourself well will get you there.

The best way to spread the word is by word of mouth. Attend networking events and local interior design shows. Build relationships with local vendors, and hand out business cards and other marketing collateral. When people enjoy working with you and love the quality of your work, they’ll naturally want to tell everyone about your services. This is why it’s important to create the best client experience possible where you delight your clients at every stage of the process, which begins with building a beautiful and consistent brand.

Develop a consistent brand that reflects the personality of your business as well as your niche. You’ll need a logo and a beautifully designed website that matches the quality of your work. If you settle for anything less, you’ll be doing yourself a huge disservice, some might even call it self-sabotage.

Squarespace has stunning website templates that you can use to showcase your interior design work. There’s no need to have a lot of pages on your website—the simpler the better. For optimal results, you’ll need a homepage, about, services, portfolio, and a contact us page with testimonials and beautiful images placed throughout your site. Since interior design is largely visual, hiring a professional photographer is key.

To learn more about branding for interior designers, check out our post Identifying Individuality and Building an Authentic Brand .

And don’t forget to ask your clients for reviews about their experience working with you, and keep all of your reviews on your website. You’ll also want to create a social media presence to provide an online community for your dedicated clients and a platform to attract new ones. You can share your client reviews on social media periodically with an accompanying image or blog post. Have fun with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and PPC ads, and use Canva to easily create stunning social media graphics.

Step 5: Get a Solid Accounting System.

Last but not least, get a solid accounting system to make your life, or your accountant or bookkeeper’s life, easier. Design Manager is an accounting software designed with interior designers in mind. With careful item tracking, in-depth drill downs for each item, interior design specific reporting, and easy anywhere, anytime access, Design Manager can help you save time and money by streamlining your entire interior design business from anywhere in the world.

Once you’ve determined your niche, defined your services, decided on your rate, developed your marketing strategy, and found a solid accounting system, you’re well on your way to starting a successful interior design business. Write everything down so you can periodically refer back to your business plan to keep yourself on track.

Learn more about why Design Manager is the best accounting software for interior designers by checking out our interview with bookkeeper Brad Shark right here .

Angela Sanders, Contributing Author

Angela Sanders, Contributing Author

Topics: Business of Design

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Interior Design Business Plan

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Barton Interiors

Executive summary executive summary is a brief introduction to your business plan. it describes your business, the problem that it solves, your target market, and financial highlights.">.

Barton Interiors is a proposed venture that will offer comprehensive interior design services for homes and offices in the Boulder, Colorado area.  Barton Interiors also will provide access to products to complement the design consulting services including furniture, both new and antique, decorator fabric, and home and office accessories.  This venture offers the personalized services the target market desires and can afford in a way that is unique from concept to implementation.

Recent market research indicates a specific and growing need in the area for the interior design consulting services and products Barton Interiors offers the market it will serve.  The market strategy will be based on a cost effective approach to reach this clearly defined target market.  Although the population of Boulder is under 100,000, the market has a significant quantity of relatively wealthy households that are conscious of the appearance and feel of their home and offices.

The approach to promote Barton Interiors with be through establishing relationships with key people in the community and then through referral activities once a significant client base is established.  Barton Interiors will focus on developing solid and loyal client relationships offering design solutions based on the client’s taste, budget, use, and goals for the space.  The additional selection, accessibility of product, design services, and value-based pricing will differentiate Barton Interiors from the other options in the area. 

Total revenues in the first year are projected to exceed $46,000 with a loss. The venture will show increasing profits in year two and three, with revenues projected to increase to almost $80,000. This interior design business plan outlines the concept and implementation and details regarding the first three years of this venture.

Interior design business plan, executive summary chart image

Barton Interiors is an interior design service for discerning, quality-conscious clients that seek assistance in their design choices for their primary residences, vacation homes, and businesses.  This experience offers personal attention through the design process and also provides design resources and products to its clients through special purchases of furniture, fabric, and accessories. The total experience is provided in a way to inform, inspire, and assist people through the process of transforming their home or business environment to become a unique and personalized expression of themselves and add to their enjoyment of that interior space.

Keys to Success

The primary keys to success for Barton Interiors will be based on the following factors:

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Capella Kincheloe

Simple Business Plans for Interior Designers

interior design business plans don't have to be boring multi-page ordeals.  You can create one that fits your creative business quickly and easily with the included interior design business plan worksheet. 

I'm continuing the series on Strategic Planning with creating a business plan.  Now, wait, before I lose you, this isn't going to be a super complicated multi-page plan that no one will ever see.

The new business plans are focused and can help you get clear in just a page to what your plan is.

I'll be going deeper into these topics over the next few months. But get your juices flowing and get something on your paper will help you and your business.

Many business plans aren't relevant to designers that are not looking for investors or for bank loans.  Many times the plan feels too clunky and overzealous for your little design firm with a home office.

However, planning your business and working through some of these questions is a valuable exercise.  

So if you've never done a business plan, even if you've been in business for awhile or think you know the answers, I say give me an hour of CEO-time and let's see if you don't gain some insights.

Grab some paper and start writing.  The more specific you can be the better.  You want to think about your existing business as well as your future or ideal business.  If they are very different maybe you could write down what your current business looks like and do another plan for your future or ideal business and then examine how to bridge that gap.  How to get from the current state of affairs to the future?


Product: What are you selling?  Why does anyone want what you are selling?  What problem are you solving or what value are you adding?  How will you communicate that?

Clients:  Who are you selling to?  Be specific.  How will they find you?  Be specific.  Why will clients want to buy from you?

Marketing:  How will your clients know you exist?  How will you sell to them?  What will you do to get the word out?

Profit and Revenue: How will you make money?  How much money do you need to make to make a profit?  How will you charge your clients?  How much work do you need to bring in to make a profit?

Success & Challenges:   What challenges could you face in your business? How will you deal with them?  What metrics (money, # of customers, being published) do you need to consider your business successful?

Further Reading: Simple Business Plan Templates

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Interior Design Company

Interior Design Company 420

Make It Your Own Space Inc.

141 Normandy Las Vegas, NV 89101

Gerald Rekve

Business plan for a group of professional interior designers planning on providing services to the residential and the commercial sectors.


The design business enjoys strong demand as people continue to buy or move into new homes and remodel old ones. According to Home magazine, 46 percent of Americans plan to redecorate or remodel in the next five years, compared with 35 percent in the previous five years.

The interior design business is a go–out–of–your–house kind of home business. While doing the business aspects inside the home, most of the sales will be done at the client's home or office as you evaluate the space, match color swatches to existing furniture and measure windows for draperies, etc. With the Martha Stewart TV Show and the vast amount of cable channels now available/the increased amount of the television network viewing time, there are at least 50 new TV Shows which focus on one form of Interior design themes. There have been countless books and magazines published for the sector.

Both of the owners of this new design business have been trained and have worked in this sector for a number of years. These skills will play a big role in the success of the business.

The growth of this sector and the fact the city that we are setting the shop up in is growing. With little competition from qualified designers, we are confidant we will get a strong market share in the first year.


The American Society of Interior Designers defines an interior designer as someone "professionally trained to create a functional and quality interior environment. Qualified through education, experience and examination, a professional designer can identify research and creatively resolve issues and lead to a healthy, safe and comfortable physical environment."

The keywords here are "professionally trained and qualified." Regulations dictate that only those who have met or exceeded a certain level of accredited education and, in some states, passed the qualifying exam administered by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification can use the title of Interior Designer. In 18 states, they must be licensed before they can be called an Interior Designer. We will either hire designers who are accredited or, after a period of mentoring, offer to assist the designer by paying a portion of the costs for the education. This will allow us to offer our clients the best services.

Based on market stats, designers held about 423,000 jobs in 2003. Four out of 10 were self–employed. With this small percentage being self–employed, we are confident our ability to hire qualified staff will be easy in our market. In fact there is a design school in our region that graduates about 40 students every six months.

Designers work in a number of different industries, depending on their design specialty. Most industrial designers, for example, work for engineering or architectural consulting firms or for large corporations. We will offer our services to these sectors, allowing these companies the freedom of not having to hire a full time designer.


Management summary.

Lisa Kurtis—CEO

Lisa has a degree in designing and Business Administration from University of California at Berkeley. Lisa had worked after graduating in 1991 with a small furniture–manufacturing firm for about 5 years. Then she started working for one of the largest homebuilders in California. After working in home building, making a lot of contacts, Lisa started her own design business. With her training, Lisa will hire the key staff persons to fill the required roles.

Tracy Trane—CIO

Tracy also graduated from University of California at Berkeley in 1992 with honors in Finance. Tracy worked with Lisa at the homebuilders and saw the opportunity to start her own business. While the risks of starting their own business were scary, they were comforted with the fact that both had husbands who were making enough money to keep the family supported.

Financial Analysis

Both owners had used several methods to finance this business.

Lisa Kurtis

Tracy Trane

The design business is multi–faceted. We will provide work as a product–driven designer or as a design consultant.

The product–driven designer is a hands–on designer who combines the task of conceptualizing the look of the given space with marketing a wide variety of products. This is the common track of start–up designers. The designer often markets various products and even offers free design advice if the client buys all of the products from him or her. Buyers of their products are often allotted a certain number of hours of free design advice; if more time is needed, the per hour fee is charged. A product–driven designer also charges a per hour rate to customers who seek their advice but buys products from another company. A hefty percentage of the designer's income is generated from product sales.

Our staff has worked in the business for a long time with an established reputation and a long list of references; we can focus on offering design–consulting services instead. We will not sell or market any product, but instead offer advice about the design of a room or an office. We will be selling your design expertise, and not any product.


There are two types of market for interior design: residential and commercial. Residential interior design focuses on the planning and/or specifying of interior materials and products used in private residences. In terms of scope and contract amount, residential jobs are often smaller, but offer a higher profit margin particularly if you are marketing the products to be used in designing the rooms.

Commercial jobs, on the other hand, are often much bigger in scope but the bidding that often accompanies the contract can push down your profit margin. Commercial design covers a wide variety of specialties, such as entertainment (e.g. movies, theater, videos, theme parks, clubs, dramatic and musical theater); facilities management (e.g. office moves or expansions); government/institutional (e.g. government offices, embassies, museums), health care (e.g. hospitals, nursing homes, long term care facilities); retail or store planning (e.g. boutiques, department stores, malls, food retailing centers); hospitality/restaurant (e.g. country clubs, hotels, cruise ships); and offices.

Based on city and region statistics last year there was over $145 million in permits purchased for new commercial and home construction, as well renovations. Based on this number and the available designers in the field, we are confident that we will gain a strong market share. All construction firms we talked with told us that they bring in designers from other cities to help with projects. If we offered quality work and competitive prices, they would give us work.


Right at this moment in the market, we have a few competitors. We believe based on their offerings and training we will win more profitable jobs due to these lack of skills on their part.


Our interior design business requires basic office supplies and equipment such as computers, telephones, and fax. In addition to the standard word processing and spreadsheet software, invest in AutoCAD software to present more professional looking design solutions to clients with three–dimensional realism. AutoCAD software will cost from $700 to $1,900 depending on the applications we purchase.

We also need to buy books of samples, which are the lifeblood of a design business. Manufacturers of wallpapers, paint and carpets produce samples costing about $250 each representing various products in all sorts of design and colors. Try negotiating with sales representatives, as they can give some of these sample books for free, particularly if they see the potential that you can sell their product.

When buying samples, we will be very careful of companies that will require us to purchase pre–selected samples on a monthly basis—even if we don't need it. The assumption is that you run a showroom to keep all the unused samples. Wallpaper and large fabric companies are particularly notorious for this practice.

Monthly Operating Expenses

For the first six months, both partners will not take a salary out of the company. After this period, they will each split a 35% share of the net profits each month.

Company Van—Both owners transferred ownership of their vans to the business. Both are free and clear of any debt and are valued at $12,000 & $16,000 according to the local bank blue book.

We will develop strategic alliances with local builders, realtors and home improvement firms. This will allow us to have a several lines of revenue into our company.

Here is a breakdown of the revenue sources we will have.

Pricing Structure

Fee structures vary widely, depending on the designer, complexity of the project, geographical location and a host of other factors. Some of the ways interior designer's charges for their services include:

Our staff designers require a retainer fee before the start of a design project. A retainer is an amount of money paid by the client to the designer and applied to the balance due at the termination of the project.

Income Potential

What is unique about the interior design business is that you never do the same job twice. It will be hard to place a specific price on individual projects. What you will earn from a job that requires redecoration of an entire room from the carpet, wallpaper to upholstery will be different from a job that requires you to put up drapes to ten windows.

According to Industry statistics, on the Design Business, an interior designer earns an average of $883 per job. If you are working at four jobs per month, you can expect monthly sales of $4,415 per month. Yearly income for designers can expect to earn about $52,980, for great designers with solid track record, this will be the take home pay of our designer staff, and our % will be 1.5 times this per designer or $79,470 per year per each staff member.

Our goal is to have 5 designers on staff; this will make our first year gross profit of $397,350 and gross revenue of $662,250.

The goal over time will be to increase the number of clients per designer per month. This will result in increase revenues. This will happen once we get better known for our services.

Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

The reason we put this in our business plan is to always be reminded of the fact that our staff and our training will be the key to our success in the designers business. We will continue to follow the guide we listed below, as well make amendments to it as we require.

Creativity is crucial in all design occupations. People in this field must have a strong sense of the aesthetic—an eye for color and detail, a sense of balance and proportion, and an appreciation for beauty. Sketching ability is helpful for most designers, but it is especially important for fashion designers. A good portfolio—a collection of examples of a person's best work—is often the deciding factor in getting a job. Except for floral design, formal preparation in design is necessary.

Educational requirements for entry–level positions vary. Some design occupations, notably industrial design, require a bachelor's degree. Interior designers normally need a college education, in part because few clients—especially commercial clients—are willing to entrust responsibility for designing living and working space to a designer with no formal credentials.

Interior design is the only design field subject to government regulation. According to the American Society for Interior Designers, 21 States and the District of Columbia require interior designers to be licensed. Because licensing is not mandatory in all states, an interior designer's professional standing is important. Membership in a professional association usually requires the completion of 3 or 4 years of postsecondary education in design, at least 2 years of practical experience in the field, and passage of the National Council for Interior Design qualification examination. We will meet these standards at the high point.

Set, lighting, and costume designers typically have college degrees in their particular area of design. A Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree from an accredited university program further establishes one's design credentials. Membership in the United Scenic Artists, Local 829, is a nationally recognized standard of achievement for scenic designers.

In contrast to the other design occupations, a high school diploma ordinarily suffices for floral design jobs. Most floral designers learn their skills on the job. When employers hire trainees, they generally look for high school graduates who have a flair for color and a desire to learn. Completion of formal training, however, is an asset for floral designers, particularly for advancement to the chief floral designer level. Vocational and technical schools offer programs in floral design, usually lasting less than a year, while 2– and 4–year programs in floriculture, horticulture, floral design, or ornamental horticulture are offered by community and junior colleges, and colleges and universities.

Formal training for some design professions also is available in 2– and 3–year professional schools that award certificates or associate degrees in design. Graduates of 2–year programs normally qualify as assistants to designers. The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree is granted at 4–year colleges and universities. The curriculum in these schools includes art and art history, principles of design, designing and sketching, and specialized studies for each of the individual design disciplines, such as garment construction, textiles, mechanical and architectural drawing, computerized design, sculpture, architecture, and basic engineering. A liberal arts education, with courses in merchandising, business administration, marketing, and psychology, along with training in art, also is a good background for most design fields. Additionally, persons with training or experience in architecture qualify for some design occupations, particularly interior design.

Computer–aided design (CAD) increasingly is used in all areas of design, except floral design, so many employers expect new designers to be familiar with the use of the computer as a design tool. For example, industrial designers extensively use computers in the aerospace, automotive, and electronics industries. Interior designers use computers to create numerous versions of interior space designs—making it possible for a client to see and choose among several designs; images can be inserted, edited, and replaced easily and without added cost. In furniture design, a chair's basic shape and structure may be duplicated and updated, by applying new upholstery styles and fabrics with the use of computers.

The National Association of Schools of Art and Design currently accredits about 200 postsecondary institutions with programs in art and design; most of these schools award a degree in art. Some award degrees in industrial, interior, textile, graphic, or fashion design. Many schools do not allow formal entry into a bachelor's degree program, until a student has finished a year of basic art and design courses successfully. Applicants may be required to submit sketches and other examples of their artistic ability.

The Foundation for Interior Design Education Research also accredits interior design programs and schools. Currently, there are more than 120 accredited programs in the United States and Canada, located in schools of art, architecture, and home economics.

Individuals in the design field must be creative, imaginative, persistent, and able to communicate their ideas in writing, visually, or verbally. Because tastes in style and fashion can change quickly, designers need to be well read, open to new ideas and influences, and quick to react to changing trends. Problem– solving skills and the ability to work independently and under pressure are important traits. People in this field need self–discipline to start projects on their own, to budget their time, and to meet deadlines and production schedules. Good business sense and sales ability also are important, especially for those who freelance or run their own business.

Beginning designers usually receive on–the–job training, and normally need 1 to 3 years of training before they advance to higher–level positions. Experienced designers in large firms may advance to chief designer, design department head, or other supervisory positions. Some designers become teachers in design schools and colleges and universities. Some experienced designers open their own firms.

Growth Strategy

Despite projected faster–than–average employment growth, designers in most fields—with the exception of floral and furniture design—are expected to face keen competition for available positions. We will use this to make sure we hire the most qualified staff.

Overall, the employment of designers is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through the year 2008. In addition to employment growth, many job openings will result from the need to replace designers who leave the field. Increased demand for industrial designers will stem from the continued emphasis on product quality and safety; the demand for new products that are easy and comfortable to use; the development of high–technology products in medicine, transportation, and other fields; and growing global competition among businesses. Rising demand for professional design of private homes, offices, restaurants and other retail establishments, and institutions that care for the rapidly growing elderly population should spur employment growth of interior designers. Demand for fashion, textile, and furniture designers should remain strong, because many consumers are concerned with fashion and style.

Earnings for average staff

Median annual earnings for designers in all specialties except interior design were $29,200 in 2003. The middle 50 percent earned between $18,420 and $43,940. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $13,780 and the highest 10 percent earned over $68,310. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of designers, except interior designers, in 2002 were as follows:

Median annual earnings for interior designers were $31,760 in 2003. The middle 50 percent earned between $23,580 and $42,570. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $18,360 and the highest 10 percent earned over $65,810. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of interior designers in 2002 were as follows:

Median annual earnings of merchandise displayers and window dressers were $18,180 in 2003. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $12,680; the highest 10 percent, over $28,910.

According to the Industrial Designers Society of America, the average base salary for an industrial designer with 1 to 2 years of experience was about $31,000 in 2003. Staff designers with 5 years of experience earned $39,000 whereas senior designers with 8 years of experience earned $51,000. Industrial designers in managerial or executive positions earned substantially more—up to $500,000 annually; however, $75,000 to $100,000 was more representative.

Design Specialties

Designers often specialize in one or more specific types of interior design.

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interior design studio business plan

How to Write a Business Plan for Interior Design

Writing a business plan is the first step in starting your own interior design firm. Find everything you need to start writing from the experts at Houzz Pro.

interior design studio business plan

As an interior designer, you know that every successful project needs a great plan. The same goes for your interior design business. Even if you’re just starting out with your design business, or if you’re revamping your current business model, knowing how to write an interior design business plan will guide you on your path to success and help move your business forward.

If you’ve never written a business plan before or need help fine tuning your current plan, it can be a bit overwhelming to know where to begin and what to include. Our guide will give you a comprehensive overview of how to write a business plan for interior design, including what an interior design business plan entails, why you need a great plan, which sections and information to incorporate, and last but not least, step-by-step details on how to write your business plan. Read on or click a link below to take the next step—and your business to the next level:

interior design studio business plan

What is an interior design business plan?

An interior design business plan is a written document detailing what your business is all about, what you’d like to achieve and how. It’s an outline and guide of what your business offers, your operations and financial plan, your business goals and what you plan to do to accomplish them. No two interior design businesses or plans are alike—and that’s a great thing! Your interior design business plan will be entirely unique to you, your particular business market, specialities and what you desire to achieve. 

interior design studio business plan

Why are interior design business plans important?

Not having a business plan can be a recipe for failure in your interior design business. External audiences—such as a potential business partner, or bank if you’ll be securing a loan—will want to review your business plan, so it’s important that you have one firmly in place. “I definitely believe the old Henry Ford adage of ‘Failing to plan is planning to fail,’” says Deana Duffek of Duffek Design & Development. Without a plan, you can easily lose focus, time and money by investing in the wrong areas without thinking them through, or miss out on opportunities when they arise. Your interior design business plan helps you stay on track with your vision, goals and how you will achieve them, so you’ll always know where you’re headed.

interior design studio business plan

Components of an interior design business plan

Now that you know what an interior design business plan is and why it’s important, the next step in how to write an interior design business plan is knowing exactly what you need to include in your plan. This section will explain the essential components of your business plan and the necessary information that should be included in each one. While you may have additional areas you might need to incorporate that pertain to your particular business, the below are a great place to start and are fundamental for any business plan.

Executive summary

Your executive summary will give an overview of what your interior design business is about and how it will be successful. Here, you can include your mission statement, which describes the purpose and overarching goal of your business: what’s driving you to do what you do in serving your clients? When writing your interior design business plan, your executive summary will also include a brief description of your services. Do you offer commercial or residential design? Restoration or consultancy services? Be specific, but not overly detailed just yet. Lastly, you’ll also include basic information about your company’s ownership, the number of employees and types of roles you employ, your location, and high-level financial information.

Company overview

The company overview is where you’ll start to provide more detailed information about your interior design business. What are the interior design needs your business will address? What types of clients will you serve? What are the strengths of your business that help give you a competitive advantage in your particular market? Your company overview is where you can share all about “who” you are and what makes your company great.

When you know the strengths and focus of your interior design business, it’s easier to know what types of services you’ll be offering. The services section is where you really get down to brass tacks describing exactly what you’ll be selling and providing to your clients.

Market analysis

Your interior design business plan needs to outline where it stands in the market, which will require some research and analysis. This section will include the latest information and trends about your industry, your target market, and who your competition is in your area, so you know how to make your business stand out.

Customer analysis

Your customer is unique to your business, the services you offer, and where your business is located. When writing your interior design business plan, get creative with this section when imaging your ideal customer. Who are they and what are their needs and pain points? How much do they earn and what are they likely to spend? Knowing your customer is essential to the success of your business, so be as detailed as possible with your customer analysis.

Marketing plan

When you know who your interior design customer is, you’re able to target them more precisely in the market. Take the knowledge you gained from your customer analysis and use it for your marketing plan. You’ll also want to share about the strengths and services you want to highlight in your marketing when writing your interior design business plan.

Operations plan

The operations plan section of your business plan will describe the physical operation needs of your interior design business and how you will keep your business successfully in motion. What is your physical location? What kind of equipment does your business use? What production systems, workflows and quality checks will you have in place? How many employees do you need to grow? Here you’ll also include information about your inventory needs for design materials and samples, as well as details about your suppliers.

Management plan

Your management plan talks about the people behind your business. Who runs the company? Who is on your management team and staff? You’ll also want to include the strengths of key players in your management team and company. If you’re a sole proprietor, then you can simply describe who you are, your background and the roles you’ll be playing in your business.

Financial plan

Your financial plan will be an important component when writing a business plan for interior design. Here’s where you’ll want to add as much detail as possible about your current financial picture, including financial statements and balance sheets, as well as future forecast projections.

Lastly, the appendix of your business plan for interior design will include documents to support the details you provided in your plan. This can include resumes, licenses, credit history, legal documents and more to help support the validity of your plan and back up your credibility.

interior design studio business plan

How to write a business plan for interior design step-by-step

1. Pick a specialty

Narrow down your niche to stand out in the market

There’s a reason why people say “there are riches in niches.” Focusing on a specific niche for your interior design business will help you zero in on your customer and stand out amongst a smaller field of competitors. Here are just a few specialities to consider for your business:

interior design studio business plan

2. Define services provided

Know exactly what you’re offering your clients

After you’ve selected your niche, you can now define the interior design services you’d like to provide your clients. Will you be providing designs only or full-service design, supply and installation? Will you focus on designing for certain rooms, such as the kitchen or bath? Will you offer remote and in-person consultations? Other considerations to make when selecting your services include: your particular strengths as a designer, what your clients in the market are desiring, what you’re capable of providing and what will contribute to your bottom line.

interior design studio business plan

3. Determine pricing model

Choose an attractive pricing model for maximum profitability 

Before determining your pricing model, you need to review your local market, current prices and what your competition is charging. From there you can choose from the following options for your pricing model:

interior design studio business plan

4. Brainstorm marketing strategy

Questions to help define your strategy and target your customer

When forming your marketing strategy for your interior design business plan, go back to your market and customer analysis and ask yourself: who is my customer, what do they want and how can I stand out in the market? Here are a few more key items and questions to consider: 

Interior designers surveyed by Houzz in 2022 reported that marketing and advertising comprised the second highest expense in starting their own business (second only to technology — more on this below). Knowing this will help you create and financially plan for a solid marketing strategy when writing your interior design business plan.  

interior design studio business plan

5. Brainstorm operations strategy

Know who and how you’ll manage your business

Here are key operations items you’ll need to consider for your interior design business plan: 

interior design studio business plan

6. Set financial goals

Create a plan to achieve your financial objectives

The main financial goal of any business is profitability. In order to be profitable your revenue must exceed your total expenses, so it’s important to keep this as a top financial goal to keep your business sustainable. After profitability, you’ll want to track your profit margins and compare them to your industry average. This will help you see where you may need to trim your expenses in order to maximize profit. 

In the day-to-day operation of your business, healthy cash flow is another objective to maintain. This will help you know how much liquid cash you have to cover your basic operating expenses, or if you’ll need a loan or line of credit to float your business. The majority (63%) of interior designers surveyed by Houzz in 2022 used their own personal savings to get started, but your situation might be different. Learn more about the different ways to fund your interior design business .

When writing your interior design business plan, you’ll also want to consider bigger long-term financial goals you might have, such as expanding your workspace, hiring new employees and what steps you’ll need to take to accommodate this growth in your business.

interior design studio business plan

Now you know how to write a business plan for interior design from start to finish, which will help keep your business on the path to success—now and in the long run. If you’d like to keep reading, check out How to Price Interior Design Services .  

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Interior Design Business Plan Template

If you want to start an interior design business or expand your current one, you need a business plan.

Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 7,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their interior design businesses.

Below are links to each section of your interior design business plan template:

Next Section: Executive Summary >

Interior Design Business Plan FAQs

What is the easiest way to complete my interior design business plan.

Growthink's Ultimate Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily complete your Interior Design Business Plan.

What Is an Interior Design Business Plan?

A business plan provides a snapshot of your interior design business as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.

Why Do You Need a Business Plan?

If you’re looking to start an interior design business or grow your existing interior design business you need a business plan. A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your interior design business in order to improve your chances of success. Your interior design business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your business grows and changes.

What Are the Sources of Funding for an Interior Design business?

Interior Design businesses are usually funded through small business loans, personal savings, credit card financing and/or angel investors.


Start Your Interior Design Plan Here

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Use This Simple Business Plan Template

interior design studio business plan

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Customers Success Stories

Interior Design Business Plan

Are you thinking of starting a interior design business We have prepared a solid interior design business plan sample that guides you on every stage of your business plan writing

interior design studio business plan

From decor ideas to make homes look personalized to making effective use of space, to designing attention-grabbing furniture, good interior designers can do it all and more.

After all, your home talks before you do. Hence, people want the best for their homes. Be it for form or function.

If you are planning to start a new interior design business, the first thing you will need is a business plan . Use our sample Topaz – Interior design business plan  created using Upmetrics business plan software to start writing your business plan in no time .

Before you start writing your business plan for your new interior design business, spend as much time as you can reading through some examples of  services-related business plans .

Industry Overview

The interior design market stood at a value of 150.7 billion US dollars in 2020 and is expected to grow at a rapid rate going forward as well.

The major reason for the growth of interior design is the want for spaces with more utility and personal touch.

With higher income, beautiful homes have become a priority over these years, leading to the massive expansion of the interior designing business.

And if you have the skill to make smaller spaces more useful, then you have a great potential to do well in the interior designing business.

Things to Consider Before Writing an Interior Designing Business Plan

Determine the services you’ll offer, develop a unique style, make a portfolio of your designs, build a web presence, chalking out your business plan.

If you are someone with an artistic flair and can increase the utility of space then an interior design business might be the perfect career for you.

But wait, before you go ahead and take the plunge, don’t forget to write a well-rounded interior design business plan to help you along the way.

Reading sample business plans will give you a good idea of what you’re aiming for and also it will show you the different sections that different entrepreneurs include and the language they use to write about themselves and their business plans.

We have created this sample Topaz – Interior Design Business Plan for you to get a good idea about how a perfect interior design business plan should look like and what details you will need to include in your stunning business plan.

Interior Design Business Plan Outline

This is the standard interior design business plan outline which will cover all important sections that you should include in your business plan.

After getting started with Upmetrics , you can copy this sample business plan into your business plan and modify the required information and download your interior design business plan pdf or doc file. It’s the fastest and easiest way to start writing your business plan.

interior design studio business plan

Business Planning Resources

We have plenty of  free business planning resources  available to help you with your planning. You can download our resources to learn all about business planning.


Not found what you are looking for? Explore our 200+ sample business plans to find match for your business.

interior design studio business plan

DISCLAIMER: The business plans, templates, and articles contained on upmetrics.co are not to be considered as legal advice. All content is for informational purposes, and upmetrics makes no claim as to accuracy, legality or suitability. The site owner shall not be held liable for any errors, omissions or for damages of any kind.

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Interior Design Business Plan Template [Updated 2023]

Interior design business plan template.

If you want to start an Interior Design business or expand your current Interior Design business, you need a business plan.

The following Interior Design business plan template gives you the key elements to include in a winning Interior Design business plan.

You can download our Business Plan Template (including a full, customizable financial model) to your computer here.

Below are links to each of the key sections of your Interior Design business plan: Interior Design Business Plan Home I. Executive Summary II. Company Overview III. Industry Analysis IV. Customer Analysis V. Competitive Analysis VI. Marketing Plan VII. Operations Plan VIII. Management Team IX. Financial Plan

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Interior Design Business Plan Home I. Executive Summary II. Company Overview III. Industry Analysis IV. Customer Analysis V. Competitive Analysis VI. Marketing Plan VII. Operations Plan VIII. Management Team IX. Financial Plan

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L'Essenziale – Interiors and Lifestyle Blog

How To Create A Business Plan For Your Interior Design Firm

Setting up a business on your own is tough. I had to do it twice – the first time when I moved from Riga to Moscow and the second time when I moved from Moscow to Marbella. Of course, when you do it again it is so much easier – you already know what to do, how to set up your interior design studio, find new clients and promote your existent work. However, there are still lots of things to consider and despite you might already know in which direction to move, writing a business plan always helps to clarify your thinking and define the course of action.

Also, for example, in Spain – a written business plan is a legal requirement if you want to register a company or perform as an individual entrepreneur. I had to do it in order to present it to the government and get the work permit. Here are the things that I included in it:

Now I would like to describe each point in detail.

1. Description of my business and professional background

Here I described the education and certificates I have got, experience and projects that I worked in the past. I wrote about my interior design style, all sources of income that I have (including this blog), current financial situations and savings that I have to set up my business.

2. Services that I offer

Here I described what I usually include in my interior design package such as:

3. Business strategy

Here I described how exactly I plan to develop my business and get new clients including these points:

4. Business organization

5. Business expenses

Provisional calculation of all expenses related to the business, including marketing, office organization, car, vehicle running costs, equipment, insurance, as well as daily private expenses that I will need to cover with my savings before the business starts to run smoothly. In case you are planning to take a loan write here how you are planning to repay your borrowings.

6. Estimated revenue

Forecast of sales and profit – the aim is to show that your business will have enough capital to survive and become profitable.

7. Timetable for implementation

The detailed timetable of how my business will be implemented in the next 100 days. This covers every aspect, including daily marketing efforts, administration, working with clients.

Hope that this post was useful! Have you ever written the plan for your interior design business? What else have you included apart from mentioned above?

Check out my eBooks for interior designers:

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Interior designer, jewelry designer and blogger. Passionate about design and art, travel and food.

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Business Plan for Investors

Interior Design Business Plan Example

MAY.05, 2017

Interior Design Business Plan Example

Do you want to start an Interior Design business plan?

Like all other businesses, starting an interior design business can be hard, no matter who tries to start it. But having an interest in the niche can get you ahead of many.

A business plan contains all the necessary details needed to start a business. All businesses start with an idea and a business plan, be it a business plan for interior design or an engineering consulting business plan .

A business plan will help you figure out all the requirements you need to fulfill to start a viable business. You can learn about the structure of a business plan online . You can also go through sample business plans related to your niche to learn all the details. You can also learn how to write a business plan for interior design by going through the sample we’ve provided below.

Executive Summary

2.1 about the business.

Pro Interior Design will be an Interior Design startup established in Montana. The main target of the business will be to provide optimal design and decoration services to the residential as well as the commercial community throughout Montana. The business will offer various services ranging from full building planning to designing small spaces. 

2.2 How Will the Business be Managed? 

No company can succeed without good management. Therefore, before establishing an interior design start-up business , you need to develop a management plan.

A good practice is to hire skilled managers for the task. Besides, business management software also helps conduct business operations without difficulty.

To ensure good management of all aspects of your business, you need to develop an interior design studio business plan. You can learn how to develop a good business plan through this executive summary sample business plan for interior design. 

You can also get guidance regarding good business plans through plans of related niches like business plan for banking to learn about finances. In your business plan, you will need to ensure that all aspects of the business are well-planned beforehand. Your business plan interior design should include technical, financial, personnel, and marketing details to ensure a successful start of the company.

2.3 Customers of Interior Design Company

The customers of Pro Interior Design will belong to all domains, professional as well as regular. The recurring and targeted customers of the start-up will be:

2.4 Business Target

The target of Pro Interior Design as mentioned in our interior design firm business plan pdf is to gain a 30% market share of the Montana Interior Design market within the first 2 years. 

Our financial targets to meet for the first three years of our launch are displayed below:

Interior Design Business Plans - 3 Years Profit Forecast

Company Summary

3.1 ownership .

Pro Interior Design will be owned and operated by Grace Ralph. Grace completed her BFA two years ago after which she worked with an architecture and design firm. However, the idea of starting her own unique brand of interior design services appealed to her. So, when she had enough capital, she decided to launch Pro Interior Designs. 

3.2 Why the Interior Design company will be started

Grace wanted to provide a flexible range of services. She noticed that most interior design companies were providing services at expensive rates and they were unaffordable for small workspaces or families. She decided to provide smaller packages and individualistic services to target the often-ignored market.

3.3 How the Interior Design company will be started

Step1: Develop a Plan

To start an interior design business, you will need a business plan for an interior design firm. Business planning is crucial as it helps you combine all your operations to achieve the specific and measurable goals that you had set for the business.

To learn what components must be included in a business plan, you can take help from the interior design business plan sample pdf provided here. You can also refer to related plans like an architecture firm business plan . 

Step2: Get Funding

The next step is to get the money for starting your business. When you first start a business, chances are that you will not have enough monetary resources to scale your business idea the way you need to. That is where investors come in. You can add such aspects in your business plan for an interior design company that shows financial feasibility to attract potential investors. 

Step3: Pick a Location

Next, you will need to find the perfect place for your office. For Pro Interior Design, Grace decided to procure a regular office space right next to a popular florist shop in the commercial center. 

Step4: Go Online

Businesses need to consider their online presence as that is where most transactions are carried out nowadays. To cater to this, Grace decided to hire a social media manager to maintain company personas on the web. She will also invest in the development of a website for basic communication with clients.

Step5: Promote and Market

Marketing is a very important aspect to ensure the success of a business. To promote the business, Grace will personally see the progress of social media managers and invest in other forms of marketing.

Interior Design Business Plans - Startup Cost

Whether you are starting a design business from home or not, you will need to decide on a list of services that you will provide to your customers. Deciding on the scope of services in your interior design firm business plan helps you figure out other details like finances and marketing ideas for your business. 

This planning is an essential part of the business plan of any company. So, whether it is a construction company business plan or a business plan for interior design services, you will need to first decide which services you will be offering to your customers. 

In this interior design business plan example, we are providing the services that will be provided by Pro Interior Design. 

The designers at Pro Interior Design will help you model your spaces according to your need. In this way, offices can adequately utilize the space that is available to them and families can make the most of their homes/ apartments. 

Pro Interior Design will offer customized and domain-specific decorative selections to its customers. Our designers will make your spaces alive with lighting and hardware selections. 

Our company will also provide a furniture and accessories selection service where our designers will offer tips and samples to customers to choose from. 

For our more artistic and ambiance focus customers, we will also offer the services of special art and design consultants that will help the customers in finding the best art pieces for their spaces be it an office or a room.

Marketing Analysis of Interior Design Company

Excellent work.

excellent work, competent advice. Alex is very friendly, great communication. 100% I recommend CGS capital. Thank you so much for your hard work!

Starting an interior design company can seem like a tremendous task with many complexities involved. The process becomes easier if you do a marketing analysis first. The marketing analysis helps you go through interior design business plan examples and learn how your competitors are running various operations.

You can gain in-depth insight into your target market by going through different interior designer business ideas. Afterward, when you develop your own business plan for an interior design firm. You should use your knowledge about past, present, and future market trends to shape your marketing strategy.

For this interior design marketing plan example, we are providing the market details for Pro Interior Design. You can use these as guidance for your own interior design startup business plan.

5.1 Market Trends

According to IBISWorld, the US Interior Design industry has a market size of about $17 billion with almost 120,000 businesses operating throughout the country. The industry is also expected to grow at a rate of 3.1% in this decade which means that it is prime time to open a business in this niche. 

5.2 Marketing Segmentation

The target customers of Pro Interior Design according to this sample business plan interior design company are divided into the following groups:

Interior Design Business Plans - Marketing Segmentation

5.2.1 Residential Community

Our main target customers will be the residential community of Montana. As Pro Interior design provides flexible services at both a small and large scale, these customers are expected to make use of our small-scale services the most. They are expected to utilize our designers for space planning and decorative services. 

5.2.2 Offices

Our second target customers will be the small and large businesses around the area that needs to remodel their offices or want consultations regarding the design and space planning of new spaces. 

5.2.3 Educational Facilities

We will also provide services to educational facilities that want to utilize their spaces to the maximum. Our trained designers will help these institutions make a space that is truly focused on learning.

5.2.4 Event Spaces

Lastly, we will also team up with event planners to provide services regarding space consultation, furniture, light, and hardware accessorizing. This will allow us to gain more regular customers in the event planning niche

5.3 Business Target

5.4 Product Pricing

Our prices will be much less as compared to our competitors in the market because we offer a larger range of small-scale services for homes and offices. This will be a significant advantage for Pro Interior Design in the market.

Marketing Strategy

While writing a business plan interior design, you need to focus a lot on your marketing strategies as they stand to be the difference between a business that is successful and one that is not. A marketing plan should be included in your interior design business plan company description before you arrange for establishing the business in a physical location. 

And just like a real estate flipping business plan , your business plan interior design company should also include details about how you will market your services.

Below, we are presenting the marketing plan for an interior design business called Pro Interior Design: 

6.1 Competitive Analysis

6.2 Sales Strategy

6.3 Sales Monthly

Interior Design Business Plans - Sales Monthly

6.4 Sales Yearly

Interior Design Business Plans - Sales Yearly

6.5 Sales Forecast

Interior Design Business Plans - Unit Sales

Personnel plan

One of the essential keys to learning how to run a successful interior design business is to hire a good workforce. Well-suited employees can help your business boom. Especially, in a business in which sales depend on direct interaction between people and customers, the qualifications, skillset, and behaviors of employees become all the more important. To have an idea of what staff is usually hired in such businesses, you can go through remodeling business plan or an interior design company business plan pdf like the one shown here. 

7.1 Company Staff

7.2 Average Salary of Employees

Financial plan.

To ensure that your business is a success, you will need to develop a financial plan for an interior design business. A good financial plan should include a detailed analysis of the price of your products, your sales, and the profit earned against each sale.

Moreover, a comprehensive financial plan should include 3-year projections of break-even analysis, business ratios, balance sheet, etc. to help you direct your finances in a better way.

In this interior design firm business plan pdf, we are detailing the financial plan for Pro Interior Design. You can also refer to other business plans like HVAC business plan to find out what you should add to your financial plan.

8.1 Important Assumptions

8.2 break-even analysis.

Interior Design Business Plans - Break-even Analysis

8.3 Projected Profit and Loss

8.3.1 profit monthly.

Interior Design Business Plans - Profit Monthly

8.3.2 Profit Yearly

Interior Design Business Plans - Profit Yearly

8.3.3 Gross Margin Monthly

Interior Design Business Plans - Gross Margin Monthly

8.3.4 Gross Margin Yearly

Interior Design Business Plans - Gross Margin Yearly

8.4 Projected Cash Flow

Interior Design Business Plans - Project Cash Flow

8.5 Projected Balance Sheet

8.6 business ratios.

You can start your own interior design business by thoroughly researching your idea and developing an interior design business plan sample to present to prospective investors. 

The business ideas for interior designers are based on the 7 main elements of interior design which are:

Interior designers can either work for big architectural and design firms or freelance as consultants. And once they have enough clients, they can also start their own businesses with the help of an interior design business plan. 

Interior design has a very vast market as most professional spaces need to be properly designed. Nowadays, people also prefer to hire design consultants to help with their homes. In this interior design firm business plan pdf, you can see the marketing segmentation part for greater detail.

Download interior design business plan sample in pdf

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  1. How to Write a Business Plan for Your Interior Design Business

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